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The Structure of Frege's Thoughts

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Fregean thoughts (i.e. the senses of assertoric sentences) are structured entities because they are composed of simpler senses that are somehow ordered and interconnected. The constituent senses form a unity because some of them are ‘saturated’ and some ‘unsaturated’. This paper shows that Frege's explanation of the structure of thoughts, which is based on the ‘saturated/unsaturated’ distinction, is by no means sufficient because it permits what I call ‘wild analyses’, which have certain unwelcome consequences. Wild analyses are made possible because any ‘unsaturated’ sense that is a mode of presentation of a concept together with any ‘saturated’ sense forms a thought. The reason is that any concept can be applied to any object (which is presented by a ‘saturated’ sense). This stems from the fact that Frege was willing to admit only total functions. It is also briefly suggested what should be done to block wild analyses.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Philosophy, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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